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Community Week: Big Horn Homecoming raises the bar

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A crowd filled Len Hill Park following the LPHS Homecoming Parade to celebrate and support the fall sports teams.

Homecoming parade, playoff chances and window decorating contest winners announced

By Jack Reaney STAFF WRITER

Photos by Julia Barton DIGITAL PRODUCER

The Lone Peak community showed up on Wednesday evening.

Excitement boiled over in the streets around 6 p.m. as the Lone Peak High School Homecoming parade began rolling slowly around Fire Pit Park. Students of all ages perched on truck beds, trailers and even a boat, tossing candy to supporters and representing their organizations.

After the parade, LPHS Athletic Director John Hannahs and boys soccer assistant coach Jeremy Harder hosted a pep rally at Len Hill Park, interviewing players and cracking jokes.

“This is by far the best turnout for any pep rally in history, wouldn’t you agree Mr. Harder?” said Hannahs as he surveyed the crowd of students huddled around the stage and at least 200 community members mingled around the park. The younger attendees ran and biked the field, bopping each other with blue inflatable thunder-sticks and climbing on anything within reach. The more seasoned audience members stood in clumps, laughing with each other and cheering on the Big Horn teams being recognized one-by-one on the stage. A spirited, coordinated pep band  kept the energy high in moments of transition.

The winning businesses of the window decorating contest were announced during the rally.  

“Every year, local businesses of Big Sky decorate their storefronts to show their support for the Lone Peak Big Horns Homecoming week!” Homecoming Queen Jessie Bough said. “Not only do we appreciate the services that each of your businesses provide to the community, we want to say thank you for taking the time to put together your murals of royal blue and white to help support the school this time of year.”

Homecoming King Owen Gitchell asked for a drumroll before announcing the winning business.

“Big Sky Build!” he said. “Yeah!”

Homestead Design & Goods and The Rocks took second and third place, respectively, and the pep rally raged onward.

The sun began to set. Wispy clouds turned pink over Lone Mountain, and the color spread across the whole sky until Len Hill Park was lit by a fading orange glow.

Impending darkness did not quell the excitement of homecoming sports, as athletes wore their jerseys with pride as they each took the stage.

Big Horn Volleyball prepares for Lima High School this afternoon at 2 p.m., soccer prepares to take on Livingston’s Park High School today—the boys at 4 p.m. and girls at 6 p.m.—and football looks to clinch a state tournament berth with a win against Simms High School under the lights on Friday, with a 7 p.m. kickoff at in the Big Horn Coliseum.  

A few varsity athletes spoke with EBS and shared their excitement to play in front of homecoming crowds. Hannahs agreed.

“It’s really [about] the student body getting out and supporting each other,” he said. “It’s been the most outstanding showing so far this year, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with.”

Another outstanding showing this year is the playoff implications.

“We’re heading into our biggest game by far, a playoff determiner game,” said Pierce Farr during his pep rally interview with Hannahs. “And as you know, for the first time I can remember, [ LPHS football is ranked] top 10 in the state.”

The crowd roared.

Finally, EBS contributor and Big Horn spirit leader Gus Hammond got on stage to lead a call-and-response chant:

“I believe that we,” he yelled into the microphone, before the crowd shouted the line back.

“I believe that we will,” Hammond said, building up his classmates to the crescendo. “I believe that we will win!”

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